BioTherm Energy, one of South Africa’s leading renewable energy developers owned by Actis, a leading emerging markets investor has commissioned its Aggeneys & Konkoonsies II solar power plants located 35kms apart in the Northern Cape, the country’s province with the highest volume of renewable energy utility power plants.
The two sister utility-scale solar plants add a collective 132MW to South Africa’s generation capacity and are expected to produce enough energy to power approximately 110,000 households every single year.
Robert Skjodt, the CEO of BioTherm Energy said that the two power plants will not only improve the security of energy supply in Southern Africa country but also deliver the many economic and social co-benefits associated with South Africa’s renewable energy program.
Both plants will be operated by BioTherm Energy for a period of 20 years under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) signed between the Independent Power Producer (IPP) and Eskom, the state-owned electricity utility.
Benefits of the Aggeneys and Konkoonsies II Solar power projects
According to the company statement, at the height of their construction, Aggeneys Solar and Konkoonsies II Solar power projects provided jobs to over 1,000 local workers from the rural towns of Aggeneys, Witbank, Pofadder, Pella, and Onseepkans, situated within the 50km radius of the plants.
These are the same communities that will benefit from economic development programs through the 20-year operations period of the plants. The focus of the economic development initiatives will include education, skills development, and environmental stewardship among others.
BioTherm Energy has a portfolio of five projects in Africa including the Aggeneys Solar, Konkoonsies II Solar, Excelsior Wind, and Golden Valley Wind with a total capacity of 284MW and which are implemented under the South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) Programme. The fifth project in the company’s portfolio is the 100MW Kipeto Wind project which is currently under construction in Kenya.